Takht Sachkhand Sri Hazur Abchalnagar Sahib is a Gurdwara built at the place where Guru Gobind Singh moved on to the higher realm of Sachkhand (Realm of Truth) in 1708. It is one of the five Takhts or “thrones” in Sikhism, and located on the banks of the River Godavari at the city of Nanded in the state of Maharashtra, Western India. Hazur Sahib literally translates as “Presence of the Master”.
It is my belief and experience that the true Khalsa Maryada (conduct) has been preserved more stringently at Sri Sachkhand Hazur Sahib than anywhere else I have been. I have not experienced the same feeling in any other place in the world.
The Gurdwara was built during 1832 to 1837 by order of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who ruled the Sikh Empire between 1780 and 1839.
At its peak in the 19th century, the Empire extended from the Khyber Pass in the west to western Tibet in the east, and from Mithankot in the south to Kashmir in the north. It was the last major region of the subcontinent to be conquered by the British.
When the British invaded the Sikh Empire, they imposed a “shoot on sight” policy on the Sikh Khalsa Army, also known as the Buddha Dal.
32,000 Shaheed Singhs
Akali Baba Hanuman Singh Ji was the 7th Jathedar, or Commander, of the Khalsa Army, and led until 1845.
The ruler of the state of Patiala at the time, Raja Karam Singh, was a traitor to the Sikh faith who assisted the British. Upon receiving word that the Khalsa were camped out in his state, Karam Singh informed the British of their whereabouts, out of fear of retribution for his previous support to the British.
The Khalsa was surrounded by the British and the Maharajahs of Patiala, Jind, Faridkot and other traitors of the Sikh faith. They opened up cannon fire on the Sikhs.
Buddha Dal oral tradition states that 32,000 Singhs became shaheed, or attained martyrdom during this battle, at the spot where the historic Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran of the 9th Sikh Guru, Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji, now stands in Patiala.
Jathedar Baba Hanuman Singh Ji and around 500 Khalsa warriors survived this attack, and continued to fight the heavy cannon fire of the British, with swords, bows and arrows, axes and matchlock fire.
From my research so far, it seems that Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s Khalsa Army migrated to Hazur Sahib, and it was the non-military Sikhs; the Namdharis, Nirmalas, Sindhis, Sehajdharis, Udasis and other related sects who remained in Punjab.
The Khalsa valiantly continued to fight guerilla battles against the British in the harsh climate of India’s jungles and yet remained in chardi kala (high spirits).
Jathedar Baba Prahlad Singh Ji succeeded Baba Hanuman Singh Ji as Jathedar of the Khalsa Army and Akal Takhat in 1846 and moved the surviving Khalsa soldiers to Hazur Sahib.
Ala Singh, a Sikh priest accused of harbouring Hindu ideology, attacked these wounded and tired Singhs. Jathedar Baba Prahlad Singh Ji attained martyrdom while fighting with Priest Ala Singh of Hazoor Sahib. Ala Singh was also killed in this battle.
Since then, it is my view that the Khalsa Panth has been systematically diluted in Punjab, where the Indian government, corrupt Punjabi politicians as well as European influences have gradually altered and dismantled the original Khalsa Maryada.